Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

See other formats


296                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
Tall, handsome, brave, but ambitious and wayward, Isaac was gifted with the artistic temperament5 as his splendid manuscript of the first eight books of the Old Testament, embellished with miniatures by his own hand3 makes clear.1 If the inscription on the mosaic representing the Deesis found in the inner narthex really refers to him, it proves that his influence was felt in the decoration of the building.2 He certainly erected a magnificent mausoleum for himself in the church. Later in his life, indeed, he became interested in the restoration of the monastery of Theotokos Kosmosoteira at Viros, and ordered that mausoleum to be dismantled, and the marbles, bronze railing, and portraits of his parents which adorned it to be transported to Viros ; but he still allowed his own portrait c made in the days of his youthful vanity ' to remain in the Chora.3
NOTE
Uspenski has identified Viros with Ferejik5 a village situated 30 kilometres from Dedeagatch, and 20-25 kilometres from Enos, caux embouchures d&erte'es et mar&ageuses de la Maritza.'
The church is now the mosque of the village. It has five domes and three apses. The central apse is pierced by a modern door. The exonarthex has disappeared and the old principal entrance is walled up. The plan of the church is almost identical with the plan of the Chora. While the architectural details are poor and indicate haste, the dimensions of the building imply considerable expense and the wealth of. the restorer. There are traces of painting on the walls of the interior, especially in the domes (the Virgin) and in the two lateral apses. An epitaph of seven lines in the middle of the mosque contains the title cdespotes.' According to Uspenski, the
1  The manuscript was discovered in the Seraglio Library by Professor T. Uspenski, and has been photographically reproduced by the Russian Institute of Constantinople.
2  The inscription has been injured.   It now reads : 
*J 6 . .  b$ TOV
\f/7}\0
.      .      0V      ,      .      .
See Schmitt, pp. 38-39, who restores the inscription thus : 6 vlo$ TOV v^XoTd-Tov /Sacr^Aetos 'AXe{ou rov "Kofofrivov. 3 See Schmitt, pp. 39-4.0.